Friday, March 14, 2014

Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, A New Tyrannosaur from Alaska

A Diminutive New Tyrannosaur from the Top of the World. 2014. Fiorillo, A.R., and R.S. Tykoski. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91287

Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, a new tyrannosaurine species from Prince Creek Formation in Northern Alaska is described based on a partial skull roof, maxilla, and jaw.
According to the results of the authors' analysis, the cranial bones are from a tyrannosaur closely related to Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus. This new dinosaur is estimated to be relatively small, with an adult skull length estimated at 25 inches, compared to 60 inches for T. rex.

Nanuqsaurus likely inhabited a seasonally extreme, high-latitude continental environment on the northernmost edge of Cretaceous North America. The authors suggest that the smaller body size of N. hoglundi compared to most tyrannosaurids from lower latitudes may reflect an adaptation to variability in resources in the arctic seasons. PR